BELIEVE

“And not long after there AROSE against it a tempestuous wind, called Eurocyldon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear (head) up into the wind, we let her drive ( BE DRIVEN).

And running under (under the shelter of) a certain island which is called Claudia, we had much work to come by the boats ( to secure the ship’s skiff); Which when they had taken up (taken it on board), they used helps (cables) undergirding the ship; and fearing lest they should fall (run aground) into the quick sands, strake sail, and SO WERE DRIVEN.

And being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when NEITHER sun nor stars in MANY days appeared, and no small tempest lay (beat) on us, ALL HOPE THAT WE SHOULD BE SAVED WAS TAKEN AWAY.

But after a long abstinence (from food) Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm (disaster) and loss.

And NOW I exhort (urge) you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man’s life among you, but of the ship.  For there stood by me this night, the angel of God, WHOSE I AM, and WHOM I SERVE, saying, FEAR NOT, Paul; THOU MUST BE BROUGHT BEFORE CEASAR: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee.

Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer (take heart): For I BELIEVE GOD, that it SHALL BE even as IT WAS TOLD ME.” Acts 27:14-25

Now, Paul was a prisoner on this ship that was caught in this massive storm a storm who had a name, Eurocyldon, which pretty much means wind stirring up waves. Many are in the midst of storms, the storm in your life that IS stirring those waves up against you as they try to blow you completely off course. I am also quite sure your storm also has a name, as they always do.

The storm of despair, the storm of sickness, the storm of recurring circumstances, the storm of financial woes, whatever the storm you are going through, it is the name of your worst enemy at the moment.

But here is where we are going to take a turn in this storm business. I know so many of God’s children who just keep getting hit, over and over. I write quite a bit about it and I truly hope this will be of encouragement.

First off, they did not try to control the ship during the storm, there are just things in life that no matter how much we wish we could, we simply have no control over some things and in the grand realm of all things, we really have no control over anything, so they let the ship BE driven and just simply tried to hold on.

Secondly, they lightened the ship, tossing off every thing that was not vital to survival, often, that is what storms do in our lives, they have a way of making us realize what is truly important and what we can and can not live without.

Finally, as the storm STILL beat down in the darkness, ALL hope SEEMED lost and they really thought they were all going to die. Paul had seen this coming and warned all that they should not go but go they did, after reminding them of fact so that they WOULD now take his next statements with seriousness, he tells them to cheer up, because even though the ship will be lost, they would live.

An angel had appeared to him to comfort him with a VERY POWERFUL fact, Paul WOULD go to Caesar, so NO storm, NO action on earth COULD PREVENT WHAT GOD HAD SPOKEN, and you know what? IT STILL CAN’T!

So I want to stir up your thinking a little, get you concentrating on the blue skies and smooth sailing that are just beyond this latest barrage of woe.  As children of God, we have the promises of God on our lives and I want to you to think about the word God has given to you FOR your life, a word of knowledge or a word of prophecy of His plans for your future and your work and if at all possible make a list of the things that God has spoken over you and KNOW that as long as you have “unfinished” business for the Kingdom, or a direct promise from God concerning something yet to take place, you are under “NO WEAPON THAT IS FORMED AGAINST YOU SHALL PROSPER” umbrella, if you will. 

Just as in another scripture Apostle Paul wrote of a great and effectual “door” the Lord had for him, but that there were MANY adversaries to try to prevent him from entering that door. The battle you have faced could very well be the same set-up. I am not saying that it always is, but when you read God’s word, you clearly see it is not always easy to stand against the “wiles of the devil” but we are encouraged to STAND. 

Let me give you a few more examples of Paul being encouraged through the dark nights by being reassured that he still had work to be accomplished.

“Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be NOT afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace; For I AM WITH THEE, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.” Acts 18:9,10

Jesus gave Paul comfort that he would not let anyone hurt him because Paul would preach to many and he stayed there for a year and six months after the Lord gave him this reassurance.

And again as his life was being threatened, the Lord appeared, as this was reference to the work he would do.

“And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so MUST thou bear witness also in Rome.” Acts 23:11

God always encouraged Paul by assuring him that he would be okay because he had a job to do and just as our starting verses, PAUL SAID ALL THAT NEEDS SAID when he said “I BELIEVE GOD”

He believed because he believed what had been told him on behalf of God.

Believe, Believe, Believe… “While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter IS dead; trouble NOT the MASTER. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: BELEIVE ONLY, and she SHALL be made whole.” Luke 8:49,50

Just as death had no right to Jairus’ daughter when Jesus said she could not be taken, nothing has any right over you unless the Lord allows that right and as long as you have a word, a hope, and a confidence of His promises you can rest assured, it is not over until He says it is over.

May God Bless and encourage you! Love and Peace until next time!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

Relinquishing Regret

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to thy mercy remember me for thy goodness’ sake O Lord. Good and upright IS the Lord: therefore he will teach sinners in the way. The meek (humble) will he guide in judgment(justice): and the meek he will teach his way.

ALL the paths of the Lord are MERCY and TRUTH unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name’s sake, O, Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25: 7-11

Nothing can eat away our life, our health, and our soul quite like guilt. The most self destructive of all human emotions and the biggest of all burdens that are to be brought and LEFT AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS. 

It is often the binding tie that satan uses to hold his prisoners captive, convincing them in themselves that they DO NOT deserve to be free from the chains of actions taken yesterday whose consequences are forever now written.

He uses it on Christians, who even though they have come to the cross, they have failed to lay down that burden and continue to beat and badger themselves over and over again, not accepting the truth of forgiveness and allowing that guilt and regret to taint and rob the joy and peace that Jesus provided at the cross.

When we are constantly emotionally punishing ourselves over and over, the enemy has little to fear because we are doing his job for him. Why does he need to accuse the brethren when the brethren accuse themselves?

Regret WIIL make you sick, it WILL make you miserable, and it can very well lead you to hell, IF you allow guilt and regret to prevent you from accepting God’s salvation.

We can think we are not worth but Jesus thought we were VERY MUCH WORTH IT and He gave His life for ALL our sins. ALL of our mistakes, shortcomings, and failures and to hold the guilt rather than accepting forgiveness is making our guilt our god.

Regret is just guilt’s enabler, a life spent pondering things we could have and should have done is again a life, precious, given of God, completed wasted in endless analytical thoughts of how things could have been different.

Guilt and regret have no place in your life, they are past tense only and to bring them with you in the present is only sabotaging your future and the well-being and futures of all you interact with and have influence with.

As we know I am BIG on preaching influence because WE all have influence, even if you live alone, you have the POWER to impact others, someway, somehow, or maybe due to your availability, there is a ministry of service and outreach with “your name written all over it”, just waiting in the background, until you are ready to shed guilt and regret, send them packing, and spread your spiritual wings and let God lead you where HE ALREADY PREDESTINED FOR YOU TO GO!

But if your holding guilt and regret, He is NOT going to just reach down and jerk them out of your hands, YOU HAVE TO BE WILLING TO LET THEM GO! Then He can give you all the good things of His mercy and His Truth that HE WANTS TO GIVE YOU.

The verses above, for me is the absolute guide to repentance, quoted them many, many times myself and when I was first saved it was reading these verses over and over through floods and rivers of tears.

We have ALL messed up, we have ALL sinned, we have ALL been best friends with guilt and regret, but Jesus is faithful and HE wants us to let them go and TRUST in Him and forget all those things and press on, IN HIM.

And the ONLY way to true freedom IS found in Him and His blood and the washing by that blood, we can’t drink them away, can’t snort them away, and your sure not going to wish them away, all the methods people use in attempt to dull their inner pain always ends the same, once your down and the crash comes your only more messed up and deeper and deeper in that sinking pit and NOTHING is going away, more regret is just being added.

Continuing in Psalm 25:12-22: ” What man (human) is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. HIS SOUL SHALL DWELL AT EASE (in goodness) and his seed (descendants) shall inherit the earth.

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew (cause them to know) his covenant. Mine (my) eyes are ever toward the Lord; FOR HE SHALL PLUCK MY FEET OUT OF THE NET. Turn thee unto me, (please come to me) have mercy upon me; for I am desolate (lonely) and afflicted.

THE TROUBLES OF MY HEART ARE ENLARGED (burdened with worry, guilt, regret) ;O BRING THOU ME OUT OF MY DISTRESSES. LOOK UPON MINE AFFLICATION AND MY PAIN; AND FORGIVE MY SINS. Consider mine enemies (negative emotions and even ourselves ARE enemies); for they hate me with a cruel hatred.

O keep my soul, and DELIVER ME: let me not be ashamed; for I put my TRUST IN THEE. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I WAIT ON THEE (wait IN FAITH on thee). Redeem Israel, O, God, out of ALL his troubles.”

Jesus is more than willing to heal us in these places, if we only ask. So many are trapped in prisons of heartache, regret, and remorse but PLEASE, PLEASE, as a minister of HIS GRACE, I am pleading with you, DON’T STAY THERE.

We ALL have those spans of time we dearly wish would could go back and change.. but we can’t. What we CAN change is how those times can be used to propel you into your destiny and in to the kingdom where you can maybe one day use those lessons learned to help another NOT make the same choices.

As my very wise sister always says, it really is like burying something dead and going back and digging up rotten old bones.Take them to the cross and leave them there and never think about them again.

God gives us beauty for ashes, to produce ashes something has had to burn. Don’t wait another moment, You can talk to God anywhere,  you don’t have to be in a church house, HE WILL MEET YOU WHEREVER YOU ARE.

STOP being your own enemy and unwittingly sabotaging your own life, lay guilt and regret, and all that hurts you today, on HIS altar and let it all be burned away. Let a NEW day unfold because you will never EVER know freedom until you are FREE in Him. Blessing and Peace to you in Jesus’ name.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2017

 

 

Regeneration of Generations

” But YOU ARE A CHOSEN GENERATION, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar (special) people; that ye should shew (show) forth the praises of him WHO HATH CALLED YOU OUT OF DARKNESS INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.” 1 Peter 2:9

CHOSEN, how blessed is that term? Jesus himself in John 15:16a said this:Ye have not chosen me, but I HAVE CHOSEN YOU..”

There is a major difference between going after something for ourselves, of our will and our desires and being chosen for a very specific purpose. Notice this verse is for a chosen GENERATION, meaning a preordained, predestinate group  CHOSEN to be the polar opposite of what came before. 

To allow the Lord to break chains forged over many generations by those who came before us. A chosen generation that would turn back to the Lord, who would choose the paths of righteousness rather than the broken roads of abuse and alcoholism, and addictions. A generation willing to allow God to shape their lives and repair the breaches in the protective walls of salvation, and that would hear God’s voice calling them out of the darkness that has formed over the ages.

Darkness passed on from generation to generation, until that faithful day that God’s voice is heard and centuries of darkness and cursing, poverty, abuse, and sorrow will be transformed by His marvelous light.

 A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, a generation called to be the messengers, priests to their families and peers on behalf of the heavenly King to tell of the goodness of God and the freedom He offers. And as Jesus tells us, we are CHOSEN for the job. Because through Him, with Him and by the power of His blood we can overcome and to have to be chosen indicates that of a certainty that job, that calling, is not going to be an easy task.

I knew a lady who once told me that she had been baptized as a child, but when she grew up, really late in life, she choose to be baptized again, not because she questioned her salvation but salvation was all she had ever known and wanted to do it as a token to her love of Jesus. I have always thought these people were so blessed, to grow up in the Lord, to be taught scriptures and know of God.

But I do think as “first generations” we can witness to those in the world and understand things that they face and struggle a little better, because we really do understand those feelings.

Now to understand the dynamics of some of those battles “first generations” endure, and it is a battle royal of endurance but I hope by the end of this, you will feel refreshed in your battle and the fire and need to continue and fight hell till the last breath.

Satan knows scripture, he knows every word ever written and he is as sly as he was when he beguiled Eve and he knows to corrupt the plant, to blight it, he would also blight the seed of that plant and so with his temptations and snares he pulls down a plant from the garden of the Lord knowing that he has destroyed the future also.

When God gave the Ten Commandments and the warnings of serving other gods, this verse really jumps out: Exodus 20:5: “Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the children unto the third and fourth generation of them who hate me.”

So for me, I think to cause this, the ancestors had to really, really turn against God in a most dreadful way, because He is so loving and merciful and to hate him would require such violation and paganism, I can’t fathom.

The hardest concept to wrap our heads around comes when we see Christians who seem to really never have problems while we struggle in areas that never even seem to come to their door, we wonder what is wrong with us? Why do we go through the things but they don’t.

All people have problems, but it is true that some do seem to face battles that are harder, fiercer, and sometimes even bizarre but here is the reason, YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED OUT.

Satan wants you back in that darkness because he knows if he can defeat you, he will defeat EVEN MORE GENERATIONS that come from you. He doesn’t want you leading others to the light and liberty of God.

It is hard to be the “first” on a path, not having a strong spiritual foundation, and to try to understand what you’re doing, where you are going, or how your supposed to get there. And you can see this in the story of the Hebrews being brought of Egypt, most died in the wilderness because they had only known bondage and slavery and could never get into the mindset of true freedom, BUT the NEXT GENERATION went into that land NEVER knowing the horrors of Egypt.

“First Generationers” often feel overwhelmed because their issues are so numerous that it is a process because each issue must be dealt with one at a time or we would be like those who didn’t make it out of the wilderness, we could not handle the rest of our journey with the needed faith and trust life requires, because even coming out of Egypt, the roads ahead could still be sometimes rocky.

Exodus 23:29,30: “I WILL NOT drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, UNTIL thou be increased and inherit the land.” 

If everything were suddenly conquered, we would no longer build faith or trust and we would soon be destroyed by the vanities of our minds and leisure.

If you doubt that, read just how many times ancient Israel would prosper and then turn from the Lord thinking they had all they would ever need and how David became so complacent that he didn’t go into battle with his army but chose to have the affair with Bathsheba that brought anguish down on his GENERATION, and Solomon, who had all, peace, all prosperity still rebelled against God in taking pagan wives and worshiping with them.

No, you don’t want to trade in a perfectly good vehicle that may not look great to you right now but is taking you EXACTLY where you need to go for something that appears sharper, faster, but will in the end only drive you had head first into a bad accident. 

Recognize WHO you are and why you fight and why you CAN NEVER give up that fight. Psalm 22:30,31: “A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation (accounted of the Lord to the NEXT generation) They shall come, and declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born that he hath done this.”

PSALM 102:28: “The children of thy servants SHALL CONTINUE, and THEIR SEED (descendants) SHALL BE ESTABLISHED BEFORE THEE.” 

Isaiah 54:13: “And all thy children shall be taught if the Lord; and GREAT SHALL BE THE PEACE OF THY CHILDREN.”

See, sometimes the one being fought is not even who the fight is really against. And a good tool to use, as cliché as it may sound, truly is counting blessings, make a list of what you came from and make a list of where you are now, you may just be very surprised.

Hold on to God’s promises and know that you fight and you have to fight for the rights of your parents, your siblings, your children, and your grandchildren, and all that will come after you. You may be hurting now but your trust in the Lord will mean your child will NEVER know what is to hide terrified from a drunken or stoned parent, your child or grandchild will never know the shame and embarrassment of being mentally or verbally abused, the NEXT generation will never know the humiliation of poverty and the pain of hunger and there is no need for me to continue into the places many of you have suffered and tell you, NEVER AGAIN. NEVER AGAIN will you suffer those things and NEVER will your generations.

When God breaks chains, they ARE BROKEN unless we chose to chain ourselves and our families, and our futures  back to Satan’s whipping post. And God has CHOSEN you and He will little by little bring you through all the areas, past all the stumbling blocks set in your way. And He will restore and bless you but don’t give up when you are almost there. Here are some of His promises:

Psalm 22:24,25: ” For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; NEITHER hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.” 

“The meek shall eat and be satisfied; they shall praise the Lord that seek him, your heart shall live forever.” Psalm 25:10: “All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.”

Isaiah 54: 14: “In righteousness (right standing with God) shalt thou be ESTABLISHED: thou shalt be far from oppression: for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.”

Revelation 7:17: ” For the Lamb that is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living waters; and God shall wipe all tears from their eyes.”

Romans 10:11: “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.”

Proverbs 10:22: “The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.

We could go on and on with wonderful promises and God’s awesome encouragement of “Be not afraid nor be dismayed”, God is with us and for us and He will take you step by step. Just hold and remember all those who will someday be very glad you did!

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

If you have never heard this song, please take a minute and let it minister to your soul and let the power of God break the chains and break them forever!

 

“Shaking off shackles of shame”

I am really seriously trying to avoid the news, all news. World news, internet news, people relying the news I missed to me, because after the stories that are being reported everyday, it is truly hard for, I believe ANYONE not to become a wee bit disturbed by all of it. It started off with a page feed on my Facebook about a beast who had been sentenced to fifty-five years in prison and a twelve million dollar fine for his crime. I can’t even bring myself to get into the details of his reign of absolute horror.

It seriously made me rethink my anti-death penalty stance. I have never understood how we can be against abortion and yet justify the killing of someone else, but, then again I seriously do not believe the person is human. He is demon possessed, which led me to the question about the demons begging Jesus not to send them to the abyss, to send them into the swine, then the pigs ran into a river and drown. So either way, it ended that story.

But I know that God holds ALL justice and couldn’t help but notice in the case of Ariel Castro and a few others how fast that justice comes. My soul screams justice and deliverance for the oppressed, wounded, and hurt and yet if that is not carefully tempered with the word of God, the need for seeing that justice come to pass can quite easily turn into a bad case of running a marathon with scissors and that will help no one.

So with a weeks worth of murder, mayhem, and just sick twisted cruelty which also included a story of a Tennessee man who was the caregiver of his seventy-nine year old cancer stricken mother, decided for some reason that it would be a great idea to beat her to death, a four-month old baby dying after being given Benadryl at daycare, a man arrested for “disciplining” his children with a stun gun, more police dead, a beautiful dog who appeared on someones porch that had his teeth filed down and his tongue cut out, evidently used a dog fighting bait dog ( YES, the end time reign of plagues and judgment on these monsters is starting to sound right on cue, once upon a time I could not understand why the Lord would send such terror, oh believe me, I now understand clearly) more senseless attacks, including one at a club hosting a teen party, ending a twelve-year-old life and I know heaven itself is weeping at the sight of all these things.

 Those subjects I can not touch because what am I going to say, that will even be hopeful or thought-provoking? It all ends with the scripture in which God tells us that those who show mercy will be shown mercy and those who have shown no mercy will be given judgement without mercy, so the full force of an angry, Holy God pouring out on peoples heads needs no human intervention or explanation.

The story I did choose to go with, that we can all pray about and think about is this one. Most have seen it or heard about it, my husband enlightened me to it while reading his CNN news feed.

A mother (?) decided to embarrass, beat, terrorize, and humiliate her sixteen year old daughter live on Facebook. Here is this woman in a cami top and tight pink shorts up to her butt, slapping and verbally bashing her daughter for what she had posted online, while having someone else film her beating this child.

Like, Hello? What are you wearing yourself there? Queen Mother?

This poor child is trying to cover her face from the hits and this goes on for five minutes and then this person (and I use that term very loosely) takes the camera, FIXES HER HAIR, and tells everyone to send it viral. Pretty obvious to know what that was all about, get some attention by beating her kid and acting like she is so bad.

Love to see her live feed taking on someone who hits back! This girl was left in the corner whimpering as her mother(?) proudly proclaims that there would be more posts to come. My heart broke for this girl and my heart breaks for the sadness of just how many are treated like this by those who are supposed to encourage them and protect them and help them deal in the right way with the changes in their lives and all the peer pressure they endure.

What really kills me is the mindless idiots that are complimenting her and saying god bless her, I did not capitalize that because GOD WOULD NEVER,EVER BLESS THAT!

They like to try to change Him and His thoughts to fit in with their own sick behaviour, as a justification attempt. Jesus whom allowed himself to be humiliated, stripped, and ridiculed SO WE WOULD NOT BE.

Jesus who taught us to turn the other cheek, not to attack a grown up who attacks us first. Jesus who said that it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and drowned AS TO HURT ONE OF HIS LITTLE ONES.

Jesus who lined all the naysayers out when Mary cried at His feet and when the woman accused of adultery was brought to Him. And now they want to insist that He is okay with slapping around on your kid or anyone else or even animals for that matter.

They DO NOT KNOW HIM nor do they know anything about Him. But they will soon discover His thoughts on the subject for themselves and in the meantime they will reap what they have sown and be judged by their own judgment so maybe someone can live feed us them being beaten and talked to like trash.

Well, I am obviously getting dangerously close to running with those scissors on this but these people really bring out something unpleasant in many of us and I know I am not the only one that is enraged by it.

I know that as the scripture states when someone is saved and comes back into the household of God, that the ANGELS IN HEAVEN REJOICE, they are so happy that they REJOICE at our salvation. I know the tears that they surely cry as they watch the senseless cruelty on earth.

They cry as humans and animals and all the living are being hurt and wounded. And I also know this is the reason for the thirty minutes of silence which will happen in heaven as the Lord prepares His judgment and return upon earth.

They are praying and weeping for US, they are weeping for the hurt, and oppressed. They are praying for those who have been stubborn, prideful, and self-willed to admit that they need a Saviour. They are praying about the blood of the innocent that covers the earth and the price that blood will cause the wicked to pay.

But to deal with it as humans, while on this earth requires understanding and faith in God.The beating is really the lesser of the damage done here, the shame, the humiliation  that was caused and the painful memories that will last that child a lifetime and without divine intervention the pain trying to deal with that damage will cost her.

Shame, even the word is unpleasant, we have all felt shame, that feeling that starts in your stomach and somehow covers your face as if to show the world that you are lesser than they. That you have messed up and now you are fit to be placed in the village stocks for the villagers to gaze upon and throw things at.

It is MORE than any emotion, it is a snare that Satan uses to cover his victims, think about the term often used “shame ON you”.

Shame is worn and once the initial episode of that shame has been forgotten by those that “put it on you” that shame IS STILL THERE, it is in your mind and affects everything you do.

Because our first instinct is try get it off of us. To hide it, so no one will see “it” that we can function and be accepted while deep down inside, we are still covered in humiliation and hurt, which can also turn to some serious rage. If you doubt that, think about stories of bullied teens and abused children who have finally took all that they can take and become violent.

And as much as I hate to quote anything from the world, it can best be summed up with some lyrics from an old rock song, “till you end up like a dog that has been beat too much, and spend half your life just trying to cover it up”. That is what shame does and it DOES not belong to us.

It is a snare like all the other traps that try to convince you that you can never “belong” to the kingdom of God, when actually you do belong. That is why all these things have been set against you, to try to prevent you from knowing your identity in Christ. When I started feeling prompted in my writing ministry to share certain things about my own pain, it was hard, because none of us want to feel like people will run from us or that we are “damaged”.

The the biggest lie of the enemy or our human “enemies”, (the ones who intentionally make us feel embarrassed and ashamed) that because we have been mistreated that somehow it is our fault, that we caused it. The truth is evil ALWAYS calls itself good and it always pretends to be right and that is why these particular things damage our spirit and only God can remove it.

But once God gave me reassurance that even if it helped one person overcome and to know it is really, really okay that He has seen it all anyway and that He is never going to look us with the contempt we may have been subjected to, but He looks us with mercy and love and ONLY HE can take away the reproach of shame.

There is nothing, nothing we can do, no drugs, no drinking, and there is not enough therapy in the world to take off what can only removed on  spiritual level. I have painfully learned that being saved was only my beginning, I spent almost thirty years trying to forget and just live with a broken soul, and discovered that once I allowed Jesus to take care of that, when I allowed Him to “look” at all that was broken, smashed, and chained up in shame that it would be the beginning of a process of healing, dealing with all those unpleasant emotions that still, made me who I am, exactly who He knew I would be.

Not always good, but still, me. We are over-comers by our testimony and the hardest for me to ever overcome, which He had to divinely get me through was having been held over a fire with the threat of being burned alive, I tell you when you’re a little kid, there is nothing that will define your self-worth quite like that.

I am sure that once knowing that, many found my fire symbol very disturbing, believe me I asked myself that question, but you know what? For me, the fire is VICTORY. The whole deal with that was this, I was specifically told that “the devil comes and takes “bad” people to hell” and you are threw in a fire, so I spent most of my life really, really believing that the devil CONTROLS who goes to hell and that I was pretty much all ready done for.

So imagine when I received the baptism of fire and learn through scripture that “GOD IS a consuming fire”. Satan NEVER controlled hell or fire, he is cold as ice and WILL BE IN HELL, Hell is RESERVED FOR HIM AND HIS ANGELS! After serving Christ many years and receiving my calling I couldn’t help but notice something, if the enemy made certain that I would be terrified of it and believe that he controlled it, than obviously there was a reason he wanted to make sure I would never, ever go near it. Once I realized that, I KNEW the fire is to be embraced, not earthly fire, but the fire of God because I know, I know who really controls it and I know WHO pulled me out of it and WHOSE arms held me and let my soul know without a doubt that I never had to be afraid of that awful place again.

This is good to remember when you deal with what has been set a stumbling block in your path, there is a definite reason he chooses what he chooses to attempt to destroy you and usually you will find it is tied into the calling that GOD PLACED ON YOUR LIFE BEFORE YOU WERE EVEN BORN  Read that for yourself in Romans 8:29,30, you will see things in a different light.

Shame comes “on us” in many forms, words and actions of others, being mocked and laughed at because of our looks or clothes,or our speech, it can come many ways but it comes and it is the most dangerous snare of them all. So whatever you may have been hurt by, shamed with, and are still trying to overcome I want to encourage you.

 

Jesus CAN take it completely away, the memory may hurt but that feeling, the shame WILL be completely erased from your mind, your soul, and your life.  I believe that if I could show you just a little of my “shame” you can surely show yours to Jesus. You never have to tell a human anything but you can share your most painful wound with Him and I promise, once you do, He will heal you and remove those heavy chains from your soul.

He does NOT laugh at you, your pain or your humiliations. Actually this is what the word says about Him.

ISAIAH: 50:6 ” I GAVE my back to the smitters (those who struck), and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair:

I HID NOT MY FACE FROM SHAME AND SPITTING.” He suffered THIS to remove it from us! Trust Him, let Him take it away.

PSALM 25:2,3: “O my God,  I TRUST IN THEE LET ME NOT BE ASHAMED: let not mines enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait upon thee be ashamed: let them that be ashamed which transgress (deal treacherously) without cause.”

PHILIPPIANS 1:20: ” According to my earnest expectations and MY HOPE, that IN NOTHING I SHALL BE ASHAMED…”

 1 PETER 4:16: ” But if any man suffer as a Christian, let him  NOT BE ASHAMED;  but let him glorify God on this behalf.”

JOEL 2:26,27: “And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.

and ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND NONE ELSE: AND MY PEOPLE SHALL NEVER BE ASHAMED.”

ISAIAH 25:8: “He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God WILL WIPE AWAY TEARS FROM OFF ALL FACES; AND THE REBUKE (embarrassment and shame) OF HIS PEOPLE SHALL HE TAKE AWAY FROM OFF ALL THE EARTH: FOR THE LORD HATH SPOKEN IT.”

So many other wonderful scriptures of God’s love and mercy, and His cleansing power that truly washes it all away. So today if you are struggling with these issues, turn to Him, REMEMBER the scripture said he did not hide His face from it and you have His promise that He will never embarrass or hurt you. Please pray that eyes will be opened, that people will realize this is NOT the way to prove anything.

Pray that those who are mortified with shame, which literally means unable to move, crippled by that shame will be touched of the Lord to leap as never before and pray that the ears who are only hearing harsh, damning words will hear the soft whisper so much greater that they are loved, they are accepted and that they are NEVER ever to be ashamed.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

I chose this song because of the testimony of the lead singer. so powerful and so free.

“EXPOSURE”

 ISAIAH 7: 14,15:  “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us). Butter and honey SHALL HE EAT, that HE MAY KNOW TO REFUSE EVIL AND CHOOSE THE GOOD.”                                                                                                                       

As we know these scriptures reference Jesus, whom was given good things and treated gently and kindly so HE WOULD KNOW and NOT choose the wrongs paths.

This is a very good argument against spanking and physically harming children and the more common emotional isolation and emotional abuse with words and shame.

Jesus was given good things so he would REFUSE the bad. I belong to the thought group that the major influence on a person is their environment and that if you can change that environment their life can be completely made new. That is not to say that environment can alter God’s will, it can’t, He is still God and still keeps His divine hand over many lives, EVEN when those lives are in absolute disarray.

But the environment of their circumstances can lead that to being a longer process, with many, many obstacles to be overcame. The enemy reverses all things of God and it becomes offering you the bad choices to make you feel compensated in that it presents itself as the only good out there for you.

As you notice this IS in reference to his childhood, we don’t need a Freud wanna be to enlighten us here, that this the time period where snares are set and where we are enslaved through psychological bondage. It is always accomplished in innocent, fragile minds and souls because the enemy wants to ensure it will last a life time.

You can see this so clearly in gangs and cults, and even often in certain types of prostitution and always, always in cycles of domestic abuse and the repeated problem of “picking the wrong guy”, you can’t PICK that many wrong guys! And it is also true for guys who chose women who belittle and mentally emasculate them, they often have domineering mothers and all in all the exposure produces a picture worth a thousand words, and those words speak volumes in lives.

It is the deceptive homing device planted long ago in vulnerable psyches that attracts the wounded to them and sends an unspoken code to predatory forces that you will be a perfect victim. Anyone really believe the “sixth sense” stalkers and serial killers possess (possessed is more like it) in tracking their victims is an all natural evil attribute that they just happen to have been born with? Research it, if you can’t see the demonic force at play there, you will never see it.

So what about the billions and trillions who WERE not given the good and did not know how to refuse the bad, when they seriously believe that “not as bad as…” is the only option given them? If life had been exposure to  evil after evil after evil?

That life will be like an overexposed photo, the light areas will be blurred and washed out, kinda like light IS there only not clear or well-defined.  What we have been exposed to does have impact on whom we become, the choices we make, and the way we live our lives BUT IT DOES NOT DETERMINE WHO WE ARE in Christ. 

That is the greatest news of the Gospel, there is NO life so dark, so tortured, or so messed up that it can not be redeemed by the one who gave it, but it is ALL in the exposure.

If you are underexposed to the good things, love, gentleness and a caring environment of respect, all the dark images will become darker. When someone has been exposed to violence, abuse and mental terrorism that exposure manifests itself in attempts to fit in and belong, feel love, feel whole and feel accepted and a need to be “normal” it explains how young people can be lured into joining gangs with them being beaten nearly to death as an initiation into that “family” and young women can be lured with attention and a false sense of security by men into a life of prostitution.

For many it will manifest as one big ride on a roller coaster of self-destruction, sick to death, desperately knowing you need to get off, but not ever figuring out how to make it stop.

Seeing it yet?  It all an attempt to feel LOVE, real love, love that will give itself FOR YOU not ask you to sacrifice yourself for it. Acceptance that you are accepted FOR you, not who someone else told you that you were or that you had to be. Belonging to a FAMILY, a family that protects YOU and cares for you and does not require your blood as proof of allegiance.

Jesus said “…and he that loseth his life FOR MY SAKE SHALL FIND IT you know what He is saying is this, LOSE your LIFE.

LOSE the thoughts that tell you are not worth love, your thoughts that nothing good will ever happen for you because you “don’t deserve” to be happy. These ARE NOT GOD’s thoughts toward you, they are programmed lies to keep you miserable and in bondage.

LOSE the friends and family that only weigh you down and constantly reaffirm all the negative views and hate filled words that have already been more than hammered into your soul.

LOSE the users and losers and those who only want you as the whipping boy to curse and run after when they are stoned or drunk.

LOSE everything that hurts, binds, disturbs, and hinders your growth, peace and happiness.

FIND a NEW LIFE that heals, delivers, brings peace and above all a love and an acceptance by one whose love can not even be described.

FIND a God that loves as a father, a REAL father, not the biological person that aided in conception, who was so vicious and vile that he was wished away.

FIND a God that will be closer than any friend, brother, or sister, that will be there through your tears and will never give you “told you so’s” or down you.

FIND a spiritual spouse whose love  is so strong that HE died FOR YOU not want you to risk your life. or kill, or  steal for him.

FIND a God in whose arms your weakness IS made strong, whose GENTLENESS will make you great.

Find a God whose peace, mercy and understanding are unsearchable, who WILL cast your sins, failures and mistakes as far as the east is to the west and wash your crimson sins white as snow and make YOU completely NEW again.

The best part with Jesus is that He loves us JUST FOR US! He does not care what we have done or where we are or how we got there, and He will heal every one of those wounds that lead you to those dark places, He just wants to help you and save you and help you get on with the life HE wants to give you. But as always I really wish He would just come down and take us over BUT He does not work that way, He will not force His will on you, But He IS always there, waiting for YOU to ask Him, as Jesus does stand at the door and knock at our hearts BUT the handle is on our side, He can’t come in if we will not let Him.

And maybe the enemy is bugging you out with well, what does she know, perched on her  religious high horse? Well, actually I am perched on my super groovy swivel stool and I am not religious, I am saved. I am saved from the hardest things to overcome, demonic exposures straight from hell, my own bloodline, and most of all myself. My readers have most of my story weaved throughout enough posts to piece together some things but I had a brother, he was my part-time babysitter when I would be alone with him but I lived in a home with him 24/7. He had issues, and was also quite gifted at drawing pentagrams ( if that gives you a little insight to exposures) I did not even know what they were until I got a lot older, so he had problems and he made sure I did too. Mental terrorism can be quite effective at producing wounds that last twenty-seven years and those wounds can lead a life of living in sin, working in sin and an overwhelming need to fit in, belong, and just be normal. But I harbor no ill will and God has truly taught me that people have problems because they have been exposed to things that have harmed their souls.

The “normal” part is always what gets us all we hide our pain and the shame (which should not be there) in constantly trying to prove  how normal we are. But with me I could never escape  the spiritual chase of it all and my life truly was just one trauma after another and making it past eighteen was a feat in itself, enough pressure, a failed marriage thanks to my refusal to convert to Catholicism and I ended up right where the devil had wanted all the time and it was the ONLY place I fit in.

The thing with wounds that have been untreated for so many years grow deeper and deeper but once we allow God to heal us they become scars, I could never show anyone my wounds and once God started leading me with my writing, I began to understand how important it is to not hide the scars because some times the wounded need to see the scars of those that have been healed. Without those scars I may not have what I have today and that is a relationship with the very one who created me. And EVERYONE has a story and we can always find others who have fared far worse and have made it out.

” And THEY overcame him (satan) BY the BLOOD OF THE LAMB, and BY the WORD of their testimony”….. forget what you have been exposed to, do not allow it to determine your today and your tomorrow. It does not define who you are, reach out and give Him your all and BE who HE created you to be.

If you “lose” life as you know it, what have you lost?  Pain, sorrow, pressure? What will you find? Peace, love, and joy, I may always have a hurdle or two but I also have a peace and a reassurance that I have a God who really does love me, in spite of me and no matter who rejects me, ridicules me or just outright despises me I am still His child and I have a peace in it all that He never fails, if I hold His hand He will not let me fall.

This song was on my heart to go with this and I feel it is for someone, if you have never heard it, please listen and please surrender, it is the most beautiful experience you will ever know.

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω Rev. Nina BrownJohnson 2016

 

I WILL…..

“I will bless the Lord at all times……” PSALM 34:1.

All times, times of joy because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Times of rejoicing when our souls have rejoiced in His presence and He has made us rejoice over our enemies.

Times of patient waiting because in waiting He will renew our strength and we will rise as eagles. Times of sickness because  He will “make” our sick bed and He is our healer.

In times of raging seas because He is the calm in the storm. In time of fleeing from the attacks and troubles of the world because He is our high tower.

In times of anguish because He is our High Priest who knows how our pain. In times of persecution, aggravation, and dealing with the condescending attitudes of others and it is ever so hard to not let our flesh just have at it and this is the time that I will…. because no one is worth our relationship with Christ and Jesus proves out all works in his time and it is in these moments that remembering that we will bless HIM in all things, even while others are trying to get under our skin and when we don’t understand what we see around us and how this all pans out:

Psalm 37: 1-13  : Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like grass, and wither as the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (feed on His faithfulness). Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Commit ( roll off onto) thy way unto the Lord: trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness (right standing with God) as the light, and thy judgment (justice) as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man that bringeth wicked devices (schemes) to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath: fret not in any wise (any way) to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off (destroyed) but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth.

For yet a little while, (in a little while), and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider (look for) his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in peace. The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.  The Lord shall laugh at him; for he seeth that his day is coming.

Three times we are reminded to “fret not” which means to just not let it get to us, obviously if the Lord had it written three times that is a good indication that these are going to be situations and attitudes of others that are really going to try our patience in not getting angry or rather not keeping that anger. And to not be jealous or resentful of how it seems that they constantly prosper and get by with it and are never called out on it. But as you see we are trust, delight in Him, rest, and wait on his judgment. And in ALL times bless Him and He will bless you and no one can take that away.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  Rev. Nina Brown Johnson 2016

 

“Feelin’ faint….”

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for IN DUE SEASON we shall reap, IF we FAINT NOT ( do not LOSE HEART ). ” GALATIANS 6:9

  We hear that verse often but have you really thought about it? Well doing, trying to do good for the kingdom, weariness, tired and worn out. In due season ( God’s pre appointed time) WE WILL reap that good harvest. IF we faint not, that is strong wording that tells us that there will be times we feel like it is going nowhere and times that we do feel like giving up and times we feel we can’t  go on.

A perfect story for this can be found in  2 King 4:8-37, I will highlight the story but please, if you are feeling this, please read it.

A lady and her husband had befriended Elisha the Prophet and they would have him eat and rest at their home during his journeys. One day they decided to build a little spot for him so he could just stay there when he passed by. Elisha wanted to his appreciation and do something nice for her. So his servant suggested a child since she was barren and her husband was old, this would mean once he passed she would be completely alone.

We’ll pick it up at verses 15-20: “And he ( Elisha to his servant) said, Call her. And when he had called her, she stood in the door. And he said, about THIS SEASON, according to the time of life (about the same time next year) thou shalt embrace a son. And she said Nay, my lord, thou man of God, Do not lie unto thine handmaid. { It wasn’t that she did not believe him, it was that the news was so wonderful that she couldn’t believe what she was hearing, and wanted to know it was real and that he was serious}

And the woman conceived, and bare a son at that season that Elisha had said unto her, according to the time of life. And when the child was grown, IT FELL ON A DAY, that he WENT OUT TO HIS FATHER TO THE REAPERS. And he said unto his father, My head, my head. And he (the father) said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and THEN DIED.”

So now the Mama having been almost afraid to believe for something so wonderful, has just watched her dream die. The child just old enough on the day “it fell” the time that had been slated for him to GO TO HIS FATHERS FIELD TO JOIN THE REAPERS IN BRINGING IN THE HARVEST and with an attack to “his head”, ( the symbolism there is this, the wars waged in our present day is often attacks of worry, fear, and dread) and now he is dead before he even began work in the harvest.

The story goes on, as the mother takes her son and places him in Elisha’s bed and closes the door, she then asks or a young man to be sent with her to go see the Prophet. When her husband asks what is the occasion, she simply replies “It shall be well”, meaning, everything is okay, it is well. Once Elisha sees her in the distance, he sends his servant to meet her with the question, “Is it well?” on all accounts. And again she answered the servant, “It is well”.

But once she gets to Elisha, she grabs his feet and he is very troubled because he knew nothing about this, because God had not revealed it to him. (Proof positive that  real Prophets ONLY know what God reveals to them and have no special insight they can control at will, a good thing to remember with “prophets” who supposed to have all the answers to everyone’s questions and are always eager to be asked) So then she tells him everything, complete with the sorrow of  her feeling that she had been given what she had not asked for only to have it taken away. So he sends his servant with his staff to place upon the son, with instructions not to speak to anyone for any reason, even if they spoke first. Don’t answer them back or respond at all.

So she told no one that her son had died, Elisha told his servant not to speak to anyone so it was between them and the Lord. When you have a bad situation already, the last thing you need is people making it worse and no matter how much faith you are trying to muster there are always those who will come by and give one thousand scenarios to confirm your worst fears. So the servant does as he was told, to no avail, so the child was not revived. Because whether he had Elisha’s staff or not, the anointing of God would have to be present to do the reviving.  

Picking back up at verse 32-37: “And when Elisha was come into the house, behold, the child was dead and laid upon his bed. He went in therefore and shut the door upon them twain (just them) and PRAYED unto the Lord. And he went up and laid upon the child, and put his mouth upon his mouth, and his eyes upon his eyes, and his hands upon his hands; and he stretched himself upon the child, and the flesh of the child waxed (grew) warm. (transference).

Then he returned, and WALKED IN THE HOUSE TO AND FRO;  And went up, and stretched himself upon him: and the child sneezed seven times, AND THE CHILD OPENED HIS EYES

And he called Gehazi ( his servant) and said, Call the Shunammite. So he called her. And when she was come in unto him, he said, Take up thy son. Then she went in, and fell at his feet, and bowed herself to the ground, and took up her son, and went out.”

God will keep his promises and His harvest will be reaped. Even death has no dominion and can not stop the work or the call of God on lives and just as the symbolic truth to this story is this, that even sometimes before you even get started the forces of hell are there to prevent your work but it will come even if it has to be resurrected from the dead. Maybe you feel that way today, that dreams are lost, hopes are shattered, and all you had believed for is lying there lifeless. Don’t give up, don’t talk to doubters along the way, sometimes the less people know about our battles the better off we are.

Just as it was well, it was kept between her, Elisha, and the Lord. Remember HE NEVER FAILS.

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NB 2016